Mental Health Awareness Week kicked off on Oct.16, with events that were collaboratively sponsored by the Office of Health Promotion, Active Minds, Residence Life and Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS).
Some of the events that took place were Positive Self Talk and Affirmations, Studio DIY Masquerade Masks, Let’s Chat About Emotions, Mental Health Screening and Stigma-Free Zone Activities.
Dr. Sudha Wadhwani, who is the coordinator of outreach and prevention here at Montclair State University and a New Jersey licensed psychologist, spoke out on what mental health awareness really means and its purpose for the events.
“Through Mental Health Awareness Week, we hope to increase awareness within the Montclair State community of how important it is to take care of our mental health,” Wadhwani said.
Wadhwani said that the aim is to decrease the stigma around mental health and spread the word that it is healthy, courageous and a sign of strength to seek help.
The events are focused on self-care, positive self-talk, increasing awareness of emotions, managing stress and learning more about your mental health.
Araba Assam, a graduate student majoring in public health, said how this week is about encouraging students that they are not alone and that they should not feel like they are being judged. Araba is also a graduate assistant for CAPS and helped out at the Positive Self Talk and Affirmations event on Tuesday.
Students talked about how the events helped them de-stress and was a great way to make them feel relaxed. It was something they all looked forward to all day long.
“Right now, I am making a masquerade mask. I actually attend lot of DIY events that are cool and fun,” said freshman Hamcah Muhammad at the mask event.
Muhammad said it is very important for him that this week’s events bring awareness to those suffering from a mental illness and benefit others in a positive way.
The masks that were made by the students will be used for the Masquerade Ball that will be hosted on Friday, in the 7th floor of University Hall.
George Smith, a junior majoring in psychology, wants to remind other students that they should be aware of their mental health and know when they need time for themselves.